“The Nutcracker Ballet” to hold auditions at Stephens Auditorium

Fritz and his friends act out a scene during act one of “The Nutcracker” ballet performance on Dec. 8, 2018 at Stephens Auditorium. 

Tanner Owens, T_Owens031

“The Nutcracker Ballet” will once again be holding auditions in Ames this year.

The ballet will be on the search for talent Sept. 7. The ballet is holding auditions at Stephens Auditorium from noon to 7:30 p.m.

The show is now in its 39th year and has long held auditions for central Iowans to participate in the show. The annual Christmastime show employs the help of over 200 dancers during the course of three shows. The shows will take place from Dec. 14 to Dec. 15. 

Registration for auditions will commence at 11:15 a.m., and those attending can park in Lot B-3. All participants must be six years old or older and have proper attire, including ballet or pointe shoes, leotards and tights. In addition to in-person registration, advance registration is available through the Iowa State Center’s website or through www.rtdance.com

The day of auditions is split into three sections for differing ages and skills.

Auditions for children aged six and over take place from noon until 3 p.m. The roles available for hopeful dancers in that age group include angels, Harlequins, soldiers and mice. It is required that any child auditioning for a part also be enrolled in a dance school. 

From 3 p.m. to 3:30, adult dancers will be able to audition for roles such as Drosselmeyer, Justice Silberhaus, the Mouse King and Mother Ginger. 

And finally, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30, ballet dancers will have the opportunity to audition for roles such as Flutes, Maids and Snowflakes. Those auditioning for these roles are required to be enrolled in a dance school and those auditioning for pointe roles must also be studying pointe in dance school. 

Jenna Hoskins of Story City performed in the show for nine years, starting when she was six years old.

“It was one of the things I looked forward to the most around Christmas,” Hoskins said. “Even though I danced in small roles, it always felt so big and it was so fun to be a part of. It was kind of surreal being so young and performing on a stage that big in a ballet that’s so beloved.”

Choreography for the show is handled by Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato Thomas of the Robert Thomas Dancenter in Ames. While the show utilizes a lot of help from local dancers, it also features guest principal dancers for the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. 

“The Nutcracker Ballet”  follows the tale of a girl and a prince in their efforts to save a fairytale world from the grasp of the evil Mouse King. Since its inception in the late 1800s, “The Nutcracker Ballet” has become one of the most beloved Christmastime stories for both movies and musicals.